Moab - Concerns - IMPORTANT - All Participants please read.
Posted June 19, 2000 - 04:07 PM
I have (and other memebers also) some concerns regarding Compensation and Litigation in the advent someone who is affiliated with the ride is injured, maimed or even killed.
WE need to discuss this with all parties who wish to attend the ride. All parties need to understand that they participate in the First "Unofficial" ride at their own risk. Afterall, I could be sued for coming up with the idea and Bryan could be sued for supporting the idea. So, let us get away from this all together.
Here are some ideas;
1. All parties sign some type of Zero responsibility agreement. All praticipants attend at their own risk and their own insurance policies
2. That is all I have.....
I truly hope I have not offended anybody and if so I appologise. But, we need to be certain that all parties understand what they are getting into. That they do so at their own risk of injury or happiness. Afterall, it can be a very dangerous sport and very expensive. Friends are friends, but greiving families are something else.
Bryan, LawDog, Kevin, Rod and the others. Your thoughts and feedback would truly be appreciated.
Bryan, appologies for this email. I just think that we need to announce this to all persons. If there is an attourney out there who rides, please, attach your thoughts on this matter.
Posted June 19, 2000 - 05:26 PM
I have heard of private parties opening their land up for the kids to enjoy riding their bikes. One kid gets hurt, his parent's sue the landowner. Now the landowner is paying for letting his heart make decisions for him.
This exact thing occurred in Maryland.
If everybody took responsibility for his/her own actions, the world would be a better place.
Too many people point their finger at everybody else, except for the person in the mirror.
What has this world come to?
99 WR, all YZ mods, de-octopused, OEM YZ tank and seat, jetting by Clark.
For clarification: WE'LL be having a KICK ASS time in Moab!! Right Mitchy & Bill?!!
Posted June 19, 2000 - 05:45 PM
Posted June 19, 2000 - 08:12 PM
I'm no lawyer but... I'll give you my two-cents anyway. First I would send an e-mail to a riding club that organizes rides like this and ask for their advice.
I think the more you and Brian "organize" the trip the greater your exposure. For example, setting up the rides for different skill levels. If someone gets in over their head, and hurt, a claim might be made that you should have known better as the "organizer." I also understand that you arranging things such as accommodations. While that is great because you can get us a group rate etc, it might be construed by a grieving party that you were responsible as the promoter/organizer/guide.
*** I could be very wrong about the next part. I have a bevy of lawyers at work and I'll ask one of them for advice. I'll get back to you.*** I think that the more you try to get people to sign things like waivers the MORE it looks like you ARE a promoter. Unless you plan to go all the way and BE a promoter and GET insurance, it seems like the signed waivers work against a defense of non-responsibility. ???
My uneducated advice would be to step away from "organizing" and just post that some guys/gals from the Forum are getting together over the weekend to ride. I would "paste" the Forum with posts like(but not exactly like)the following:
(Preface that you are sorry to have to say these things, but…)
This is an independent ride on Oct 7-9, 00 in Moab, Utah. You are welcome to join. This is not a sanctioned or organized event by any individual or group. You are responsible for your own transportation, equipment and accommodations. Riding in Moab can be (or “is”) dangerous. You are responsible for educating yourself on the conditions for safe riding consistent with your riding expertise and physical condition. You are independently responsible for deciding where you choose to ride and what you are capable of riding. No other attendees will act as a guide or instructor. You attend at your own risk.
(Don't prepare and distribute any trail info yourself. People can get their own PUBLISHED trail info from another entity. You could probably say WHERE to get the published info)
I will follow up with you.
Posted June 19, 2000 - 08:23 PM
So, if we publish and organise the ride that way, are we still not the organisers?
Also, arranging accomodation for group discounts, how can that be construded as an official organised ride?
If we decide as a group, on the day, about where to ride, then would that not be considered safe?
Posted June 19, 2000 - 09:27 PM
Send me a response to my person email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted June 20, 2000 - 04:13 AM
Moab is dangerous and we are not talking about just a few cuts and bruises. The last thing we want out of this vacation is to ruin the forum that has gotten us together. That said,
DirtRider.net is running a similar group ride in Illinois this summer. They have taken the official route with daily fees, planned and organized rides, etc. They are requiring all participants to be members of the AMA (not a bad idea-mind you) for insurance purposes. As John mentioned, this could really open a can of worms liability wise. After all we will not be riding around the cornfields of Illinois. And not that their spodfest won’t be a ton of fun, it is just less dangerous than WFO in the desert.
As it stands right now, I don’t see ThumperTalk doing anything official to support our Moab efforts other than providing this wonderful bulletin board system for communicating. Bryan, may not even need to come along He could show up, as BOB and no one outside of Denver would know different – right.
Posted June 20, 2000 - 06:14 AM
I agree without any structure there is no organization, just some guys out to get togather and ride. If any one does get hurt I will give them an Oatmeal Pie.
Posted June 20, 2000 - 02:32 PM
I found an attorney who formerly specialized in motor sports liability disclaimers, releases and defenses. He personally had Sears Point Raceway and SCCA (auto cross) events. His partner represented motorcycle groups that sponsored events (apparently this partner/lawyer is also a hell of a dirt bike rider). He said there were definitely liability issues. It is complicated since each State has its own release and liability laws etc. He will research whether it is best to have disclaimers or signed releases or both and pull together drafts for me to send to Mitch and Brian. He will also review with another attorney who is doing this work currently. He will do all this pro bono (free!). More to come later.
Posted June 20, 2000 - 03:19 PM
I assume you've asked these guys to join us in Moab? I'll refrain from lawyer bashing - I promise
Posted June 20, 2000 - 06:22 PM
Absolutely! If they come, we can all donate to their libations (beerz). If they don't come, I'll be buying them a fancy dinner with their wives and you guy's can cover my beer tab and bail in Moaaaaab!!!!
Posted June 21, 2000 - 11:11 AM
Posted June 21, 2000 - 12:28 PM
BUT -- I think you should get the waivers John is having drafted and have them signed. I think the benefits of protecting yourselves through this process outweigh the risks that such a course of action will add to your exposure by making you look more like organizers.
A few "general" points: 1) it is true that liability and affirmative defenses vary by state; 2) I do not know the laws of Utah -- (that's why you go with John's retained lawyers; 3) in many states it seems like you can sue for any reason, but you cannot (well you can file a complaint, but you won't get very far); 4) in many states the reason you can sue despite a waiver is that "you cannot waive someone else's negligence." That is, if someone else acts negligently, you can sue them, even if you signed a generalized waiver beforehand; 5) in many states outdoor activities that lead to damage are not considered negligent unless there are compelling circumstances. Further, even organized sporting events are understood to carry some element of (non-actionable) risk. Examples: a) a body surfer in Cal. broke his neck diving into the surf. The jury felt sorry for him and awarded liability against the city for not posting signs -- overturned in a very clear manner. I know of no state where you could win a lawsuit based on being hit by a foul ball at a professional baseball game. c) On the other hand, a bunch of guys bodysurfing is different than a bunch of guys engaging in some cool contest (who can do the most flips off that rock) in connection with an organized retreat.
I, for one, would refrain from any organized activities, other than generally ride around like a bunch of unconnected guys that bumped into each other, and happen to ride together, in the same manner in which each would have ridden by his own darn self! Catch my drift?
Please remember. If I were representing any or all of you I would most definitely update my knowledge in this particular area of the law, and as regards Utah, in particular. I HAVE NOT DONE SO. I just thought I'd let you know some generalities.
Bottom line: follow the advice of your lawyers, and have fun. Wish I could be there.